First prepare the dough for the pastel: Mix all ingredients together to make a smooth dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in a cool place for 1 hour.
For the filling, finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until golden. Add some tomato paste and stir well. Add garlic and minced meat and fry. Season with salt and pepper and let the mixture cool down a bit. Cut the cheese into cubes.
Form the dough into a roll and cut pieces with a knife. Roll out the dough pieces into circles on a floured work surface. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the circles and place a cheese cube on top. Brush the edge of the dough with a little water. Fold the dough over the filling and lightly press the edge with the tines of a fork.
Heat plenty of oil in a large saucepan and bake the pastel until golden brown and floating. Drain on paper towels.
You can also fill the pastel with a mixture of crab meat, with vegetables, cheese or meat scraps. Add a splash of cachaça (sugar cane brandy) to the batter for the pastel.